Academic Research on Psilocybin, the Psychoactive Component of "Magic" Mushrooms

June 9

Since 2000, Johns Hopkins has pursued research surrounding psilocybin—simply put, the stuff in magic mushrooms that makes you trip. Although research on the topic is rare and has been marginalized as of late, it's worth pointing out that hallucinogen studies were once considered a fruitful avenue for research and incredibly useful for psychotherapy, particularly LSD studies. Then came the ramp-up of the war on drugs and the subsequent "it'll make you go insane" propaganda, and, if you ask some medical professionals involved in the research, loudmouth doctors like Timothy Leary who preached everyone should be tripping whenever they want under no supervision, which vilified psychedelics. As Hopkins' psilocybin studies and recent LSD studies (the first LSD study in 40 years was published in March of 2014) show, that's recently been changing. Albert Garcia-Romeu, Ph.D., a postdoctoral fellow at Johns Hopkins Medicine, has been researching the effects of psilocybin and other naturally-occurring psychedelic compounds on humans with a special interest in using it to cure nicotine addiction. He'll go over his research and then answer questions on this oft-misunderstood and important arm of medical research. 7 p.m., Red Emma's, 30 W. North Ave., (443) 602-7611, redemmas.org, free. (Brandon Soderberg)

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